Things to know about Swiss business etiquette

Even though the majority of visitors to Zermatt Switzerland are there on vacation, there are those who are traveling for business.  Some are in Zermatt to conduct business while others may be spending a few days relaxing before or after a business trip.  If you are travelling to Switzerland on business, there are a few things you should know about Swiss business etiquette to avoid learning by trial and error.

While some countries have relaxed their dress code for business, Switzerland still dresses for success.  For both men and women, this usually means a nicely tailored suit that looks natural. Women should avoid over accessorizing, as this may appear “glamorous” rather than professional.  It is important to look your best and always have a pleasant expression on your face because the first few seconds are the most important.  First impressions count and the Swiss like to look you right in the eye first so make sure you have a welcoming, open expression when meeting people.

Because the customer is always the most important person standing next to you, greet the customer first even if your boss is standing there as well.  While many people great each other with “air kisses” in the French speaking areas of Switzerland (this should be avoided completely in the German areas), it is more professional to skip the gesture and opt for a handshake as a way of greeting other professionals.  When addressing your boss or other colleagues that are higher up in the hierarchy, use their last name unless they give you permission to address them by their first name.  While it is permissible for bosses to addresses other employees by their first name, you must wait for permission to do the same.  In some fields, this has been relaxed but when in doubt use the person’s last name to avoid offending anyone.

Professionalism and punctuality is important in the Swiss business community.  Be wary of “partying” outside of the office with your associates as this can be seen as unprofessional if carried too far.  Always arrive a few minutes early to an appointment or meeting and never allow customers to wait.

Whether you are traveling on business or for leisure, Zermatt Accommodation can help you find the best Zermatt lodging options for your travel budget.  Check our list of hotels in Zermatt for the best rates and information for your Zermatt trip.

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